While it is only autumn and November, it does indeed feel like winter in January! We often get questions from families around when students are kept inside and when they go outside. Our board provides a helpful website that outlines guidelines for extreme weather. One important message is to always have your child dressed to go outside during the school day.
With respect to extreme cold and weather conditions, the board does have guidelines that schools can use. They offer some great information on winter conditions and how to approach them. Two guidelines we use include:
- When temperatures and/or wind chill reach minus 20 degrees Celsius, consider an indoor routine for recess/events.
- When temperatures and/or wind chill reach minus 18/19 degrees Celsius, consider a shortened outdoor routine for recess/events.
We have had to implement these routines in the past but not often. Most days, we are able to go outside. One challenge for us as well is that conditions can change quickly. For example, we may implement indoor recess in the morning, but then be fine to go out at lunch as temperatures warm throughout the day.
On occasion we may also implement the cold weather plan prior to the start of the school day. On these occasions, you may still drop your child off at their entry doors a 7:55 a.m. and staff will be on duty to meet them.
As we have also had snowfall this month, it is a great time to remind everyone to be careful while on our school property. Please walk and drive safely at all times. During heavy snowfall, our caretakers often require several hours to clear pathways completely around the school. During these times, please make use of the entry doors that have been cleared. Despite clearing, icy conditions can also form quickly as temperatures fluctuate between day and night so please always be mindful of where you are walking. As always, please let us know if you notice a health or safety concern.
And, if winter is not your favorite time then we can remember that eventually our sunflowers will return…
As previously communicated, we appreciate everyone’s support with our school parking lot. Like most schools, our parking lot is very busy at entry and dismissal times. With winter ahead, and a likely increase in students being dropped off and picked up, we are looking to review procedures in the interest of safety. Our foremost goal is safety for all students, staff and community members, and we need your help.
In the interest of improved traffic flow during drop off and pick up, we would ask for your continued support with current procedures:
- All drivers drive with particular care in and around the school. We share a common interest in providing a safe environment for our almost 370 students and we ask that all drivers approach the school patiently, with consideration for pedestrian traffic, and other drivers.
- When dropping off a child (or children), drivers are asked to pull into the furthest available curbside spot and take care when merging back into the inner driving lane. No student should be dropped off from the inner driving lane and subsequently walk between vehicles.
- At no time should a vehicle be left unattended or otherwise parked in the Kiss and Ride as parking is not permitted in the Kiss and Ride as it is designated fire route. The Town ByLaw officer has enforced this bylaw in the past.
- Parents are to pull away from the Kiss and Ride as quickly and as safely as possible. Please do not use this time to socialize with other parents or staff.
- Parents are not permitted to use the bus loop at the front of the school to drop off or pick up their children. This is a designated Fire Route and is permitted to accommodate only school buses.
- At pick up if you do not see your child (or children), drivers are asked to continue to circle the Kiss and Ride, as needed. Drivers should not stop anywhere in the driving lane to pick up their child, rather continue around the Kiss and Ride and pull up curbside only when they see their child.
We would ask, most of all, for your cooperation in supporting our traffic plan, and we appreciate your patience in dropping off and picking up your children. We thank you for your support in helping to improve drop off and pick up times at the school, and we would encourage you to review these procedures with your children. As always, we remind parents that walking to school is the best way to alleviate traffic congestion and both an environmentally friendly alternative to driving as well as a healthy choice.
Our thanks for your support.
We have been asked to share the following information from York Region Public Health: -Elementary_school_messaging_-_promoting_the_flu_shot_